Regal Cinemas and Showcase Cinemas have shut down over coronavirus concerns, making them the first movie theaters to do so.
The coronavirus continues to spread and now it is not only affecting movie productions but everyday businesses as well. Today, Regal Cinemas announced that it was shutting down its multiplexes due to the epidemic, becoming the first major theater chain to do so. This came soon after White House officials advised people to avoid groups of more than ten people.
In an official statement, Mooky Greidinge, CEO of Regal’s parent company Cineworld, called it a difficult decision but had no doubt that they would be serving their customers again before too long:
“At this time, we have made the difficult decision to close our theaters. We value our movie-loving customers and have no doubt we will be serving them again as soon as possible with a full slate of Hollywood blockbusters.”
Following Regal Cinema’s example, Showcase Cinema announced that it would be closing its doors due to the coronavirus as well. In an official statement on their site, it was announced that Showcase Cinemas’ parent company would be pausing all theater activities and hoped to resume on April 7th. They also stated that the health of their customers and staff were their highest priority:
National Amusements, owner of Showcase Cinemas, announced today that it is proactively pausing moviegoing in its theaters in North America. All cinemas will close by 8 p.m. ET today, with operations expected to resume by April 7. All tickets purchased in advance for future shows will be refunded and all Showcase Subscribe membership accounts will be placed on hold.
Throughout the Coronavirus outbreak, our staff and customers’ health has been and will be our No. 1 priority. During the last few weeks, we have implemented COVID-19 prevention staff training, theater cleaning of high-touch surfaces and new staff/customer hygiene practices. Both in the United States and the United Kingdom, we were also one of the first movie exhibitors to institute a 50% audience capacity to allow for social distancing during shows.
Showcase Cinemas has worked very hard to provide the best moviegoing experience for our customers for nearly 85 years. Our industry has weathered many difficult moments through the decades. Through these unprecedented times, we come to the same conclusion – people need and want to go to the movies. However, now is the time for public safety and to press pause on moviegoing. Be safe and rest assured as we all navigate through this crisis, Showcase Cinemas will be here to welcome you back when it’s time to go to the movies!
What do you all make of these announcements? Are you glad to hear that Regal Cinemas and Showcase Cinemas have shut down over the coronavirus? Should they have closed their doors earlier? Let us know what you think in the comments below!